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Morning Poll: Should we all just drive golf carts?

Golf carts (Photo by Ralph [Ravi] Kayden on Unsplash)
An Atlanta suburb is known for its “miles of natural, wooded beauty” — and its 10,000 golf carts.

At 26.04 square miles, Peachtree City is just a touch smaller than Arlington County size-wise, though its population of 36,000 is a fraction of Arlington’s nearly 240,000. The master-planned community is best-known for its unique way of getting around: on almost 100 miles of golf-cart-friendly, multi-use paths.

There’s some suggestion that transportation planners across the country are beginning to see the benefits of adding golf carts to the modal mix. From a Twitter thread (and Slate article) last month:

As you might have gleaned above, the places where golf carts are catching on are in Sun Belt cities that rarely experience very cold weather.

The knock on bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters and other micro-mobility options — Arlington has long pushed bicycling in particular as a transportation alternative that doesn’t clog roads or pollute skies — is that they are highly undesirable in wet or cold weather, and not accessible for the elderly and some with differing abilities.

Golf carts at least partially solve those issues, though cold weather and snow remain challenges.

Even setting aside the weather, the advantages of golf carts — greener, cheaper, friendlier and more enjoyable commutes, for instance — run into the wall of reality in Arlington when one considers that they occupy a middle ground between driving cars and walking/biking that our transportation network is not set up to handle.

Peachtree City has an extensive trail network built out and golf-cart-ready, but Arlington’s trails were made for those on foot and on bike, not in electrified passenger vehicles traveling 20 mph.

Still, it’s fun to envision a future for Arlington that involves more golf carts as mobility devices. At the very least, the size of Arlington and its growing network of urban villages makes it more realistic.

Today we’re wondering: on the completely theoretical premise that a magic wand is waved and Arlington suddenly golf-cart-friendly like Peachtree City — used by much of the population, with safe and convenient trails — would you drive one?

Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

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